22-Year-Old Sues: Four Loko Damaged My Heart

Jersey man sues company after doctors tell him of permanent harm
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 3:02 AM CDT
Salesman, 22: Four Loko Damaged My Heart
A New Jersey man who says he suffered permanent heart damage after drinking the alcohol- and caffeine-laced Four Loko beverage is suing its manufacturer.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

A 22-year-old New Jersey man is suing the company that produces Four Loko, arguing the caffeinated alcoholic drink permanently damaged his heart. Michael Mustica was rushed to a hospital after suffering heart arrhythmia when he drank more than two cans of Four Loko last year. Doctors told him he suffered heart damage from consuming the drink, according to court documents filed against drink manufacturer Phusion Projects. "He was a victim of people who tried to make money off a product without worrying about the health consequences," Mustica's attorney told the Star Ledger.

The drink touted as "blackout in a can" has been banned in a number of states following hospital emergency room visits by several drinkers. Alcoholic energy drinks have been declared unsafe by the FDA. Four Loko was replaced late last year with a caffeine-free version. A Phusion spokesman refused to comment on the New Jersey case, but added: "We still believe that combining caffeine and alcohol is safe." (More civil lawsuits stories.)

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